This website and its information is a free service provided by me, Mike Kahn. If your HOA should ever feel a need to use my consulting service you’ll find me to be 100% as matter-of-fact. I work as a team with two other long-time golf business expert, Bill McIntosh, and Cameron White.
Our services are inexpensive.
We guarantee our work.
We have no partners, associations, or referral agreements, that could influence our work on behalf of the homeowner association (HOA) that hires us. Therefore, we work for and advise your HOA freely because we are not amenable to anyone. However, we warn that we will not patronize anyone either. We report and advise entirely from our 100+ years of experience. We try to remove the emotion and fear from the dilemma and instead, focus on taking a cool-headed approach.
A solution simply has to make sense. Therefore, clenching fists does not solve the problem. Fighting and litigating can only run up costs and add to the confusion and frustration. Animosity generally results in an even worse outcome.
Our goal, if it is to save the golf course, is to set it up to be permanently sustainable. Keep in mind there may be situations where sustaining the golf course may be impossible or impractical. Re purposing the golf course lands may be one solution. In some cases, it may be more practical to reforest the fairways back to their natural state.
Property values should begin to stabilize the moment a plan for the future is accepted and going forward.
When there’s no room to negotiate, and no room for compromise, whatever the disagreements are, the attorneys will become heavily and expensively involved. Keep in mind, a golf course needs enough business to pay its bills and show at least some profit. After all, it’s only the financially healthy golf courses where the fairways are green and attractive. Meanwhile, consider that It is not fair to compel a golf course investor to continually lose money just so you can have yourself a nice fairway view.
There will be give-and-take.
Unfortunately, there are hundreds of golf courses out there that never had a chance to survive.
Overzealous developers built golf courses with residential lots backing on fairways in order to sell them at a premium - anywhere up to twice the price of a non-golf course lot. The problem was that many development golf courses were never sustainable because, according to general statistics on US golf participation rates by the National Golf Foundation (http://www.ngf.org), there was never going to be enough people nearby (the traditional 30-minute drive-time distance) to populate the golf course sufficiently to keep it profitable.
The current (2018) participation rate in the USA is estimated at from 7.2 to 8.8% depending on who’s data you use. Apparently, the participation rate was as high as 12.1% in 1995. The golf participate rate has hovered around 10% since the mid-1960s.
Based on historic statistics, a typical daily fee or semi-private golf course needs up to 2,500 customers playing between ten and fifteen games a year to survive. That formula needs to be tested against your backyard golf course.
Applying general participation statistics to a new golf course development, especially if the golfers were to live in the new community. Therefore, it would need to have a population of 25,000 persons to perpetually support one 18-hole golf course. At 2.5 person per household, it would need to be a 10,000 unit residential development. Few golf course developments were made up of more than 500 homes. Many fewer than 300 homes.
A case in point was the 2,200 home Walden Lake Golf Course development in Plant City, Florida, built around a now-defunct 27-hole golf course. Actually, the Walden golf course thrived in the mid 1990s but most of its players came from outside the Walden subdivision. By 2010 the golf course was all but in ruins and some home values fell by 50%. The Walden Lake Golf Course is now closed and in ruins. Enter Walden Lake Golf, Plant City, Florida into Google search and you’ll find stories about that fiasco.
In our work Bill, Cameron, and I might recommend sources and resources that could help the situation, but as indicated, we are not obliged or amenable to any source. We are not paid, nor do we seek referral fees by any sources we recommend. Our network includes golf management companies, architects, suppliers, agronomists, appraisers, even bankers. The mission on your behalf is to lay out the information we feel you need before you can plan a strategy.
YOU NEED AN ANALYSIS OF THE GOLF COURSE
Based on our combined golf course expertise of over 100-years, Bill McIntosh, Cameron White, and me, Mike Kahn, are fully qualified to analyze any North American golf course. Our experience includes every type of golf course including:
Public daily fee golf courses
Semi-private golf courses
Full-amenity Private Country Clubs - Swimming, Tennis, Fitness, Fine Dining
Executive length golf courses
Every combination of 9-hole, 18-hole, 27-hole, and 36-hole golf courses
Snow country and under coconut trees.
We review a golf course in detail. We analyze recent management practices. With extensive experience in golf course maintenance practices, equipment care and maintenance, budgeting, and job costing, we understand the immediate, short-term, and long-term issues to consider going forward. We learn about the competitive marketplace facing the subject. We try to determine whether or not the subject golf course is permanently sustainable in its neighborhood - the most critical part of our work.
We are the only golf course business consultants that agree to be terminated (fired) at a moment’s notice. If at anytime our clients feel we are not sufficiently knowledgeable to be of any help they can cut us loose immediately.